Forty-Seven Friends 2010 Pinot Noir

Sonoma County, CA; 14.1% ABV
$7 at the Richmond, CA, store on 19 Oct

fortysevenfriends_2010_pinotnoirI had been intrigued by this bottling because the color of the wine through the bottle looked nicely complex, and, hey, some quirky one-off bottling like this could be a sleeper hit.  And, indeed, it is delicious!

The wine needs only a little air in the glass to become very smooth, ripe, rich, and elegant, showing flavors of dark red cherry, strawberry jam with hint of dark red or black raspberry, dried orange, and earthy root beer / cola.  It starts out a little more full than I generally prefer Pinot Noir, but (1) it’s delicious anyway, and (2) it actually becomes less heavy, less dark in flavor, and more liquidy elegant as it airs.  It was so good, we greedily sucked it all down, leaving none for the next day.  While it did not taste at all too old, I expect the day when it does is coming soon, so drink up.


5 thoughts on “Forty-Seven Friends 2010 Pinot Noir

  1. BargainWhine Post author

    I’ve opened a couple bottles of this wine since the one I reviewed here. The first of these was not as good as the first, seeming sort of dull and bitter in comparison. The second, I opened last night. It was good, probably much the same as the one reviewed here. However, it didn’t seem as good, probably because I’ve now been spoiled by the bailiwick Pinots. 🙂

  2. seedboy

    I tend to be suspicious when an inexpensive pinot is dark. Lots of winemakers resort to tricks to darken the color of pinot.

  3. john flaherty

    The color of a wine has nothing to do with complexity. The writer is using the wrong word. French red burgundy will look pale like a rose’ but offer incredible depth and real complexity.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi John. I’m inclined to disagree with you here, but let me elaborate. I have noticed that if a wine has a very simple color through the bottle, e.g., a very monochrome cherry red, then the taste of the wine is often also very simple, with very little complexity. This wine, when looked at through the bottle, showed a darker solid red in areas where the light had to go through more wine, but showed a more orangey brown color at the edges of the bottle, much like you would see bricking at the edge of the wine in your glass. So maybe this visual test of mine selects for a well-aged wine, not necessarily a complex wine. However, in my experience, this test — looking for some variation in the color of the wine through the bottle — seems to me to have selected for good wines over bad, even among younger wines, although I’m not claiming this is either foolproof or definitive.

      Second, I definitely disagree about all red Burgundy looking like a pale rosé. I have tasted some pretty dark Burgundies, and well-aged ones definitely have some complexity of color. Young Burgundies often lack much expression of complexity for me, either in color or taste. Your experience may be different.

      Anyway, when shopping for wine at the GO, I often rely on heuristics like this. They work well enough for me, although I’ll concede they may not actually be true.


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